Retired firefighter supports department

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of the Tipp City first responders and particularly the Tipp City Fire Dept. Since the above mentioned incident, I have heard several local citizens questioning the handling of this unfortunate event. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I would like to offer some information for consideration before jumping to a conclusion.

There are two facts to know and understand as groundwork for my comments. First, Tipp City is blessed to have a large number of first responders, again particularly the fire department but also the EMS and police departments as well, that are highly trained and very dedicated to this Community. Just ask any of the personnel in the three departments how much training they have completed and you’ll be amazed. Second, this Community is also blessed to have new, high tech equipment to work with and I’m speaking of not just vehicles. Again, countless hours of training for the use of that equipment. We are fortunate to live in a Community where the local governments, City and Township work together in this area, as well as the local taxpayers and private donors who have also been very supportive of the responders in their giving and voting through the years.

I had the honor of serving as the Monroe Township Fire Inspector, representing the State Fire Marshall’s Office, for over 25 years, so I do know a little something about fires. I also had the privilege of working very closely with the Tipp firemen as well as many of the other responders, so I know most of the people very well and you will not find a finer group of servants.

Trying to extinguish a fire in old structures is probably the most difficult type of fire to battle. Because of false ceilings and walls that have occurred with update/remodel projects through the years, layers of roof replacements, often old hidden wiring and the fact that old building codes did not require fire breaks between structures, like they do today, often make it very difficult to get to the original ignition points. They often are so deeply buried in an old structure, the actual blaze does not occur nor can it be detected until well after it has had a chance to reach high flash points causing wide spread destruction once it erupts. It’s also important to know that today’s firefighters have very sensitive detection equipment to locate unseen smoke and unfelt heat and always cover fire locations with a fine tooth comb, both physical inspection and high-tech sensing equipment before leaving a scene.

With nothing showing, the fire department left the scene late in the evening. It wasn’t until 5 a.m. that the fire then erupted causing further damage. To say that a mistake was made leaving the scene after the detailed physical inspection, including the use of high-tech sensing equipment is not correct. I also feel confident that as the Tipp Police Department made their normal rounds during the night, extra attention was paid to the fire location.

In review of the above and having the benefit of knowledge I have gained by experience over many years, including many hours working with the Tipp City Fire Department, I close with nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the work the first responders provide to this Community, especially the Tipp City Fire Department.

— Stan Evans

Monroe Township Fire Prevention Officer, Retired

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